The internet is a wonderful tool and spending time online can be very productive for many people when it is used responsibly. When going online makes you feel more comfortable than being with your real-life friends or your partner, or you would rather spend time checking your mobile device than interacting with people face to face, you may have crossed the line into internet addiction. At this point, you are no longer controlling how much time you are spending online; your compulsion to be on the internet is controlling you.
Signs and Symptoms of Internet Addiction
- You lose track of the amount of time you are spending online.
- You are neglecting spending time with your spouse or partner, family and friends because of your online activities.
- You are being dishonest about the amount of time you are spending online.
- You find that you would rather spend time with your online “friends” and relationships than your real-life ones.
- Finishing tasks at home has become an issue due to your internet activities.
- You have or are experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, backaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome due to your online activities.
- Going online has become an outlet for when you feel sad, stressed, guilty or excited.
- You go without sleep so that you can spend more time online.
- You have tried to put a limit on your online activities but have been unsuccessful.
Internet Addiction and your Relationship
Spending too much time online can definitely have a negative effect on your relationship. Your spouse or partner will come to resent the time you are spending online, since you are not “in” your relationship giving it the time and attention that it needs to grow. He or she may have concerns that you are involved with cybercheating. If you are turning away from your partner, you are threatening your relationship, whether someone else is involved or not.
Find Help for Internet Addiction
The Dunes East Hampton OP offers an intensive outpatient treatment program in New York. We provide a personalized program for each client that includes therapies and services that will help you break free from your addiction and improve your personal relationships.
Call us today to find out more about how we can help you.
Not all addictions involve drugs or alcohol and in the case of behavioral addictions, the affected person becomes dependent on a behavior to achieve a “high” and to “escape” from his or her life.
Examples Of Behavioral Addictions
A person can become addicted to activities such as:
- The Internet
- Video Games
How Behavioral Addictions Are Similar To Substance Addictions
No matter the type of addiction, all addictions have a compulsive component. A pattern develops where participating in the activity takes on an ever-increasing importance in the addict’s life, to the extent that he or she thinks about it most of the time and has cravings to participate in the activity.
- The behavior changes the person’s mood by giving what is to them a positive consequence. It can be described as a “high.” The person may start using the behavior as a coping strategy to deal with stress, boredom, anxiety, or other difficult emotions.
- Over time, it takes more of the activity to achieve the same level of satisfaction, since the client develops a tolerance.
- If the person can’t engage in the activity, he or she experiences negative feelings, such as irritability or moodiness. Some people even react physically and get “the shakes.”
- Behavioral addictions cause conflict between the addict and his or her family members, friends, and co-workers. The addict may promise not to engage in the behavior again and appear to be sincere in the moment but someone who is truly addicted cannot stop and will continue the same behaviors without professional help. Engaging in the addiction may cost an inordinate amount of money, and it will take time away from the addict’s family and work, which is a further source of conflict.
- Even if a behavioral addict does have a self-imposed period of abstinence, he or she will revert back to earlier behavioral patterns without addiction treatment.
Outpatient Treatment For Behavioral Addictions
Behavioral addictions can be successfully treated. At The Dunes OP, we get to the source of the problem and treat clients for behavioral as well as substance addictions on an outpatient basis. This allows our clients to continue to receive treatment without interrupting their home, work or family life.
Call Us Now To See How Our Personalized Outpatient Treatment Programs Can Help You Break Free From The Bondage Of Addiction!